His art is currently on display at the Central Virginia Community College in Appomattox. If one stopped for a spell to take a gander at it, one may not realize that Bernard Mazanec began his art journey in earnest last year.

That’s right. He’s a new artist at 85 years old, Mazanec will tell people with a twinkle in his eye.

“I used to copy the funnies,” said Mazanec describing his earliest recollection of engaging in art. He was four years old.

He never had formal art education, and his career took him down a different path.

Mazanec said his father sent him to college, where he began his career as an architect.

His father was proud that his son would become the first Mazanec to benefit from higher education.

He also served in the national guard for eight years.

In 1983, Mazanec came to Virginia from Bozeman, Montana, where he landed a job in Lynchburg. He retired in 2006.

Last year, Mazanec was asked if he might be able to contribute art to the Pamplin art show.

“This last year I got all these colored pencils and paints and so on — so I started working at it,” said Mazanec.

There’s more to this story in the current issue of the Times Virginian newspaper. Pick up a copy or view the full article in the e-edition version with a subscription.